Faerie Queen And Love

As we have discussed in class, there are several different types of love. And in
identifying the perils of "inventing" love in The Faerie Queen, many of
these kinds of love can be related. In addition to the romantic love that

Spencer and the Redcrosse Knight invent, one also must consider the love for
faith and God. Throughout the book, most of the problems that Spencer and the

Redcrosse night with inventing love stem from the fact that they are doing it in
a physical sense. The Knight’s service to a lady can be looked at as nothing
more than submission to her desires. There is always a hidden anxiety inside in
proving oneself to be a worthy knight, driven by male ego. His lady sad to see
his sore constraint, Cride out, "Now now Sir knight, shew what ye bee, Add
faith unto your force, and be not faint: Strangle her, else she sure will
strangle thee." [I,1,163-66] The knight is eager to prove himself to the lady
and save himself from shame; he is not about to show weakness and defeat to a
lady cheering him on: That when he heard, in great perplexitie, His gall did
grate for griefe and high disdaine, And knitting all his force got one hand
free. [I,1,167-69] Spencer has conjured up this idea of chivalric service, yet
he fails to keep selfishness and narcissism from getting in the way. Through
this, the childlike need of the male to have a woman come back in his life and
guide him is apparent. Thus, the Redcrosse Knight invents love around his
submission to the needful lady. Let fall her eyen, as shamefast to the earth,

And yeelding soft, in that she nought gain-said, So forth they rode, he feining
seemly merth, And she coy lookes: so dainty they say maketh derth. [I,2,240-243]

Having done this, the Knight has in essence obeyed his own erotic desires and
therefore sinned by making himself vulnerable to deception. This is where we can
tie in Christian love. Aside from the obvious allusions to Christian religion
and Roman Catholic fallacies, Spencer includes his own invention of love for

Christianity and faith. The Redcrosse Knight represents the individual

Christian, on the search for Holiness, who is armed with faith in Christ, the
shield with the bloody cross. He is traveling with Una, whose name means
"truth". For a Christian to be holy, he must have true faith, and so
the plot of the book mostly concerns the attempts of evildoers to separate the

Knight from Una. For of devotion he had little care, Still drownd in sleepe, and
most of his dayes ded; Scarse could he once uphold his heavie hed, To looken,
whether it were night or day: May seeme the wayne was very evill led, When such
an one had guiding of the way, That knew not, whether right he went, or else
astray. [I,4,165-171] These difficulties faced by the Redcrosse Knight in
staying with Una reflect our own difficulties in staying true to our faith.

Faithlessness, despair, pride, the seven vices, and evil are all personified in
the book; yet it seems that at the most difficult and trying times, the Knight
is saved. This shows the Christian individual’s need for God’s aid.

"eternal God that chaunce did guide" [I,11,402] No matter how well a

Christian is equipped or prepared, he is no match for sin and death without the
undeserved grace of God. All of these allegories make up Spencer’s invention
of love for God. He sees it as a constant struggle against temptation and evil,
which in the end creates a closer relationship with faith and with God.